Killing Kennedy Movie Poster Image

Killing Kennedy



By-the-numbers biopic traces last months of Oswald, JFK.
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 92 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

JFK and Jackie Kennedy profess their love and support for each other frequently, but the message is complicated by JFK's on-screen philandering.

Positive role models

This warts-and-all portrait shows JFK to be lustful, boastful, and destructive to his family at times. Oswald is portrayed unsympathetically as well, though we understand his state of mind at the time of the shooting better.


The assassination of JFK is at the center of this drama -- we see it reenacted, with gunshots and screaming onlookers. There are other shootings, too, and Oswald is abusive to his wife, hitting her in the face while she holds a baby.


At one point, the viewer sees the president and two young women cavorting in the pool; one woman is briefly visible in the nude from the rear. One scene takes place inside Jack Ruby's club where there are go-go girls gyrating in black velvet bikinis.


Some cursing including four-letter words: "That's the most meaningless bulls--t I've ever heard."


Killing Kennedy is based on a book.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some scenes take place in bars where characters drink and sometimes act a bit tipsy.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Killing Kennedy is a drama focused on the last few months of the lives of President Kennedy and assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. We see Kennedy's death, both in historical footage and in dramatic reenactments, with blood, screaming onlookers, and devastated family members. Oswald also kills a police officer and attempts to shoot another political figure. We see domestic violence and the aftermath. JFK flirts and cavorts with women, including in one scene in a pool where a woman's appears naked from the back. Expect a bit of strong language and scenes of drinking and minor drunkenness.

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

When John F. Kennedy was inaugurated in 1961, his idealistic fans thought he would usher in a new era of peace and love. Instead, he spent a bumpy couple of years as president and then was killed in cold blood while touring through Dallas. In KILLING KENNEDY, we get to know Kennedy as well as his assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, a peculiar man with a burning hatred for American imperialist politics. Oswald can't hold down a job, abuses his wife, and harbors paranoid fantasies that he's being watched by the FBI. For his part, JFK's no saint either: He cheats on his wife and blusters his way through domestic crises, using the fate of the entire world as a bluff. The destinies of these two men collide in November 1963, and we watch helplessly.

Is it any good?


Killing Kennedy's strength is in helping us know Oswald better (whether the viewer agrees that he was JFK's acting-alone assassin or not). By now, the beats of the Kennedy story are familiar to even the most casual student of history: The Bay of Pigs. The Cuban Missile Crisis. Floozies giggling their way through the corridors of the White House. And then the terrible shots that rang out over the plaza and ended Camelot's reign forever.

We are with Oswald when he meets his wife and idealistically defects to the USSR, renouncing his U.S. citizenship. We are with him, too, as he returns to the U.S. and starts his downward spiral: playing with guns in the garage, scissoring out ominous newspaper clippings, belting his wife in the face. It's creepy stuff and plenty disturbing even while the rest of the film is rather pedestrian. The movie is straightforward, though, and would be a fine one for teens to watch if they're doing a report or school project on Kennedy.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the real JFK assassination. Does everyone agree that Oswald was his assassin and that he worked alone? What do you think? Does watching Killing Kennedy make you want to know more?

  • Have you seen another depiction of Kennedy's life and death, such as JFK or Parkland? How does Killing Kennedy jibe with other films you've seen?

  • Is the viewer supposed to like and identify with JFK? What about Oswald? What about Jackie Kennedy? What about the ways in which they're presented bring you to your conclusions?

Movie details

DVD/Streaming release date:February 11, 2014
Cast:Rob Lowe, Jack Noseworthy, Will Rothhaar
Director:Nelson McCormick
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox
Run time:92 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Killing Kennedy was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • JFK
    Politician makes case for JFK murder as conspiracy.
  • Superb film about Cuban missile crisis, best for older kids.
  • JFK movie captures mood but omits a great deal; some blood.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written byjohnnypipes75 January 15, 2016

Poor history

This film was extremely disappointing... it left out so many facts and details, the movie would actually have you believe Oswald really killed JFJ by himself, which is impossible unless you believe in "magic bullets"... the security changes to his Dallas route were never mentioned, the actually route changes with his non regular security team were also left out... hardly anything about the mob or Vietnam were included... Warning to anyone doing a school paper or a factual report on JFK, Do NOT use this movie as fact based history , as it is extremely bias and not even close to the truth... this movie is based on the "official story/fable" and not based on the actual evidence.... I was very disappointed... I'd rather a movie leave open questions to keep you guessing at the unknowns than to just fill it in with tainted versions of history that simply aren't the truth... The much older Kevin Costner film "JFK" was a much better movie when it comes to the evidence behind this tragic event, although in the movie JFK, it's more about the conspiracy and the wide range of evidence that just doesn't add up than the day of the assassination itself...


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?